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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-43

An epidemiological study of snakebites from rural Haryana


1 Department of Community Medicine, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, Haryana, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Major S D Singh Medical College and Hospital, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of General Medicine, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, Haryana, India
4 Department of Paediatrics, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, Haryana, India
5 Department of Forensic Medicine, Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
6 Department of Community Medicine, Gold Field Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (GFIMS&R), Faridabad, Haryana, India
7 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, Haryana, India
8 Department of Ophthalmology, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhishek Singh
Department of Community Medicine, Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2349-4220.159142

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Background: Snakebite is a frequently encountered medical emergency faced mainly by rural populations. It is a significant public health problem in many parts of the world, especially in South Asian countries. Aims: This study aimed to analyze the epidemiological aspects of snakebite among human snakebite victims admitted to the emergency ward of a tertiary care teaching hospital between 2010 and 2012 in rural Haryana. Additional objectives were to study other factors that have a bearing on the outcome of snakebite. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, lists of addresses and contact numbers were prepared for all the snakebite cases admitted to the emergency ward of Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Science & Research (MMIMSR), Mullana, Haryana, between June 2010 and May 2012. The subjects eligible for the study were then interviewed to gather epidemiological information. Necessary clinical data were obtained from records. Results: The majority or 49.4% of the victims were in the age group of 31-45 years, followed by 32.91% in the age group of 16-30 years. Of the victims, 20.3% were illiterates. A majority (48.1%) of the victims were manual laborers and farmers. The foot was the most commonly (62.03%) involved part of the body. Most (48.10%) of the snakebite incidents occurred while the victims were doing agricultural work. Further, 64.56% cases were reported during the monsoon season and 41.77% victims were bitten in the bush. Among the subjects, 60.76% received first aid at the site of incident, and 20.25% of them sought hospital care after consulting the traditional healers (ozhas). Time lapsed for seeking hospital treatment was less than 4 h in 55.69% of the cases. The overwhelming majority (83.54%) of snakebite victims recovered after the treatment. Conclusion: This study highlights the need for improving community education, prompt transport of bitten patients to medical care, capacity-building of medical staff at all levels, and availability of anti-snake venom in rural health facilities to reduce snakebite deaths.


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